EMC works with RUSI to examine the uses of data in defence

On Thursday, EMC and the UK’s leading strategic think-tank, the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), presented an important new white paper Big Data for Defence and Security. This report examines the potential of data analytics to help the UK’s armed forces become more agile and effective, even as the resources available to them are reduced. The research behind the project has been wide-ranging, examining the use of data analytics in reconnaissance and espionage, in strategic planning and procurement and in tactical operations. The report also presents a set of very clear recommendations for the MoD to follow, some of which build on existing activity.

Research within the MoD has shown that there is relatively little understanding of how data analytics can benefit a modern organisation, even when compared with other departments of state. One of the objectives of this report was to address this issue and provide a roadmap for how technology could help to make better sense of the diverse information produced by the different aspects of the UK’s armed forces. RUSI was able to combine its deep understanding of the MoD with EMC’s knowledge of what is and what will be possible in data analytics, to produce a convincing blueprint for how data can help the UK armed forces cope with the changing demands of modern geopolitics. On Thursday evening, Liz Quintana, of RUSI, and James Petter of EMC (a former Captain in the British Army) introduced the report to an exclusive audience, and gave their points of view on the issues addressed by the project.

James Petter, EMC’s Vice President and Country Manager for UK and Ireland, commented that, “Even with shrinking budgets and continued operational constraints, the military is yet to wake up to the immense potential of thoroughly analysing the masses of existing information it is constantly collecting. Not only will it multiply the nation’s defence capability but significantly, it will make warfare safer. RUSI’s report highlights the role for leadership, experimentation and focus in driving adoption of these new tools and techniques to ensure we avoid obsolescence. This could literally be a matter of life and death as the armed forces work to ensure a brighter and safer tomorrow.”

You can see more from James Petter in this video

James Petter Begins Writing for NewStatesman

Last month, EMC vice president and managing director, James Petter, began writing a column for NewStatesman.com. James will be writing regularly for the website, with the aim of providing industry insight from his unique perspective.

 

So far, James has had two articles posted. His first piece, titled ‘Escaping the “black hole”: how to measure cybercrime, analyses the considerable threat of e-crime in a positive and novel light; stating that we in the UK should be proud of the threat, for we have things to steal. He also confirms that really, we’re doing alright in our attempts to repel cybercriminals; that ‘we may not be winning the war, but we’re not losing either’.

 

James’ second post considers the NHS’ “secret weapon”, stratified medicine. This is the idea that costly and unnecessary tests could be cut out, with illnesses being dealt with before symptoms manifest. The practice stems from research into patients’ genetic markers, which can illustrate which treatment options will provide the quickest and most effective treatment for an individual.

 

Keep track of James’ views and other industry leaders on the New Statesman.

Enabling RSA’s channel partner ecosystem

Yesterday RSA hosted channel journalists from Microscope, CRN and IT Europa at a breakfast event in Victoria to talk about how RSA is strengthening its channel partner programme to foster stronger and mutually beneficial partner relationships in 2013 and beyond. The interactive session included presentations from Steve Wheeler, EMEA Channel Sales Director at RSA and Mick Ebsworth, Information Security Consulting Practice Director from Integralis, one of RSA’s key channel partners.

A raft of simplifications and improvements were announced including RSA’s training programme which has now been updated to help partners focus on their areas of expertise. RSA’s EduTube, an online video portal for technical content, is also now up and running for all partners to access up-to-date tools and training resources.

RSA highlighted the areas to watch in 2013, and the key specialisations partners should be looking at such as; authentication, secure analytics, governance risk and compliance and identity protection and verification (IPV). IPV, previously only used for very large enterprises, has now been brought to the channel for the first time.

With the increase in the number of threats occurring throughout the world, it’s more important than ever for companies to be aware of the security threats they face. The changes to the channel programme will enable more partners to access the right security products and advice for their clients. The new tools will help partners become even more profitable and better enable their working relationship with RSA.

The Government’s NHS funding commitment: The EMC perspective

Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt announced yesterday that the government will be investing another round of funds into improving NHS technology, bringing the total funds available to £1 billion. The aim is to bring new and more efficient technology into the NHS to allow the day to day actions to run more smoothly.

Jeremy Hunt wants the money to be used to help to deliver the government’s commitment to allow everyone to book GP appointments and order repeat prescriptions online by March 2015. The money will also be spent on systems allowing hospitals and GP surgeries to share patients’ electronic records, enabling better coordination between health organisations including GPs and hospitals.

Chris Roche, Chief Technology Officer, EMC EMEA says “We welcome the news that the Government is committing to funding and delivering a large scale clinical database. This is vital for reducing paperwork, improving patient management and the patient experience within the NHS as it copes with an aging population and growing numbers of chronic disease sufferers. Crucially, it will play a vital role as bio-informatics and data-driven healthcare starts to take a role in supporting a broader strategic transformation of the NHS, turning it into a predictive care body that tackles disease before it strikes. Our hope is that this is – far from being a ‘pet project’, as the shadow health minister asserts – a core component of a broader transformation effort.

Key to this transformation will be to join up clinical (Phenotype) and molecular (Genotype) data to improve patient outcomes; that is, linking clinical symptoms with genetic data to identify and deliver the swiftest route to recovery and ultimately, improved survivability. For example, using a DNA test to prescribe the correct chemotherapy drugs for skin cancer raises the rate of effectiveness from 10 per cent to 70 per cent creating a significant saving in later treatments, hospital and in-home care.

This database, and others like it including the 100,000 genome project and the foundation of Genomics England, are key to the way we improve the way we share and linking data. Joining up data sets on the clinical side of the equation can only help this process.

As with all things data and particularly health related, however, data privacy and security are real concerns that should be debated in an open forum. But it is good to see the Government understanding the role that data and bio-informatics plays in transforming healthcare and that they are funding the change.

Partnerships, such as ours with Aridhia, are emerging that aim to use big data technologies and techniques to create a platform capable of revolutionising the management of chronic health conditions such as cancer, diabetes, pulmonary conditions and cardiovascular disease. This can happen in a number of ways:

• through the use of predictive analytics set across multiple datasets in real-time;

• through the delivery of stratified medical pathways, drawing on patient, environmental, social and genetic data to anticipate treatment pathways;

• through the correlation, analysis and interpretation of telehealth, telemetry and genomic data to treat disease preemptively.

Digitising patient records and making them available to stratified care will help with long term goals of cutting NHS costs and predicting pathways to better health.”

Speed to Lead – Drive your IT transformation

EMC Speed to LeadlargeThis morning, in Milan, Italy, EMC announced new products that help give customers the speed they need to lead their IT Transformation. Collectively these new innovations provide customers and partners with the essential building blocks they need to build Public, Private and Hybrid Cloud environments.

We’ve briefly summarized the key announcements for you – but you can read more by clicking on each of the links or visiting EMC’s Pulse blog here: http://pulseblog.emc.com/

  • EMC has announced the revolutionary new EMC® VNX® Series delivers unprecedented price/performance—one-third the price for the same performance of the previous generation. You can read and hear what our customers and partners have to say about it here
  • In addition, EMC has also announced that the world’s fastest-growing reference architecture, EMC VSPEX, now delivers 2X more virtual machines at the same price and an even broader spectrum of choice for workloads that matter most—powered by the new EMC VNX Series. You can read more about the compete refresh of the VSPEX family here.
  • Some may remember at EMC World 2013 earlier this year we announced the EMC ViPR® Software-Defined Storage Platform. The great news is that we’ve announced it is planned to be generally available late this month! There was also a surprise “reveal” onstage for those that joined us in Milan where we provided a live technology preview of what EMC is calling “Project Nile” – an Elastic Cloud Storage platform that is focused on delivering Private Cloud control, security and flexibility with the scale, economics and ease-of-use generally associated with the public cloud. You can hear more from Amitabh Srivastava, President, Advanced Software Division at EMC talk more about ViPR and Project Niles here
  • Not coincidentally, the 2013 Formula One Gran Premio D’Italia is happening this weekend at the Autodromo di Monza near Milan.  So, in the spirit of the race, EMC’s Flash Products Division is excited to announce that we are “turbocharging” applications with the release of XtremSW Cache 2.0. The New EMC XtremSW Cache 2.0 server-flash caching software provides new management capabilities and advanced support for VMware, AIX and Oracle RAC environments. You can hear Dave Nicholson and Sam Marracini talk about XtremSW Cache 2.0 and why customers are excited by clicking here
  • Lastly, we’re delighted to have been joined in Milan by Patrick Louis, Chief Executive Officer at Lotus F1 team. Hear why Lotus F1 team is partnering with EMC and the new EMC VNX5400 Lotus Team F1 Limited Edition array at this link

Big data moves to the non-profit sector

As we all know, big data is now recognised as a significant tool for businesses, allowing for more targeted strategising and evaluation of investment opportunities, through increased understanding of customers and new market opportunities. Alongside the enterprise impact, the trend is now spreading into charity, specifically how to donate effectively.

In the past, there has been an infamously opaque nature to the spending of some non-profit organisations, but new San Francisco based organisation, GiveWell, is helping to clear the fog using large-scale donation evaluation. At a societal level, it’s a really interesting use of big data and a great example of a practical implementation. Past websites, notably Charity Navigator, have attempted a similar process by tracking the financial health of charities, but GiveWell’s research is the first to provide adequate and accurate information about the genuine spending and impact of non-profit organisations.

GiveWell’s cofounders, Elie Hassenfield and Holden Kamofsky, saw that donors often respond based on marketing without truly knowing of the success (or lack of) that their funding will cause. To put it simply, donors are often triggered by emotion – particularly by advertising, or shock articles in the media – without true knowledge of how their gift will help. Simultaneously, charities are wasting money on said advertising. It’s a highly inefficient circle.

To combat this, GiveWell has launched an entirely new method of research into non-profit organisations. Its process sees them look into background literature on a charity’s area, speak to field experts as well as charity representatives, and review internal documents such as budgets and additional funding plans, all in order to provide transparency over spending, and thus donation effectiveness.

GiveWell’s findings prove interesting for UK based donors, with two of their ‘top charities’ holding considerable UK sectors. Against Malaria Foundation clenches first place, judged to deliver protective bed nets both efficiently and cost-effectively, whilst the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative has been considered the third most effective charity, globally, for their treatment of parasitic worms in children.

At EMC, we are pleased to see data analysis helping charity efficiency and the spread of aid, which not only improves welfare but also proves the importance of big data in non-profit work. From GiveWell’s findings, we’ve confirmed that this year Against Malaria Foundation will be the focus of our charitable activity and the role of data analysis in nonprofit work is certainly an area we’ll be keeping a close eye on.